I started playing online Chess recently. Specifically on an app on my phone with a friend. She whooped me good the first game because I typically don’t have the patience for Chess. You see, in Chess you have to scan the board and look for all possible moves your opponent can make. Then you have to determine your best possible course of action on your turn. Then you need to determine all possible ways your opponent might react to your move. And so on.
Sometimes while I am perusing the board for opportunities and traps, I think to myself “wow, life isn’t even this complicated..”
Of course that’s not true. What is more complex than life? Still though, I see a lot of parallels with Chess and life. For example, as a man, losing your queen in Chess and in life can feel like the most devastating thing that can happen. It can feel like there is no point in continuing because you don’t have what you need to see it through to the end.
If you’ve been reading along, you know this happened to me recently. Me and my fiancée decided to call it quits. Fortunately, it didn’t quite mimic how I imagine having your queen snatched in real life would truly be.
Some dude on a motorcycle with a giant boner and arm tattoos rolls up on you and your girl in the middle of your weekly public display of aggression and he asks if she needs a ride, reaching his hand out like Superman to a damsel in a burning building. She takes his hand, hops on the back of his bike, and they burn rubber as his back bike tire kicks dust in your face and they peel off into the mist where him, her, and the bike go have a threesome in an alley somewhere.
Nah, we just had a shitty fight that I may have described in way too much hypothetical detail..
On top of that, three days ago I got my queen taken. My opponent pulled a slick little move that made me move my king in a way that lead my queen into a trap. Ironically, my opponent happens to be a close friend of my ex fiancée. When the trap was set and there was no escape, she sent me a sweet “I know you’re in love pain right now”. I figure she knows I would have seen the trap coming if I was in my right mind. Maybe.
That day I started to see the parallels of life and Chess, specifically in my circumstance and tweeted:
“I lost my queen in less than 20 moves. I guess I’m supposed to be single then..”
Yeah, if you haven’t noticed by now, I am in fact a drama king.
But since then, the tables have turned. Not that my ex and I are getting back together, but we are doing fine as friends. Probably better in fact. And furthermore, I am optimistic. Relationships tend to put you in a box preventing you from being everything you are. There’s this person there who loves you and wants you to be what they need. If you’re like me, one of two things happens. You start becoming what they need, and become disgruntled at losing yourself, or you stop caring about what they need. So now it’s back to me.
Oh.. And the Chess game, which is really what this post is about. That has taken a turn as well. You see, ever since I lost my queen I’ve been able to make a series of moves to trap her queen with the sacrifice of my rook. Being the only one on the board with a queen can lead to overconfidence, which can lead to catastrophic mistakes. Perhaps I am being overly optimistic but I’ll let you be the judge. Here’s the board:
My point is this.. To quote the tweet that this new circumstance inspired: